I got so much great feedback on last week’s post where I let the cat out of the bag about being homesick. (Moving is hard!) Thank you so very much for all the support and helpful suggestions! I wanted to compile some of the great advice y’all gave and offer some of my own take-aways:
- I got lots of suggestions to volunteer. I mentioned that getting a job here is haaaaard. On average it takes 6 months to get a job. (The job market is teeny-tiny and 60% of the jobs go to Germans as part of the Army’s agreement to have a post here.) Volunteering seems to be the way to go in the meantime. Volunteering will fill that void in your resume created by being unemployed, teach you a new skill, possibly it could lead to getting hired, and (best of all) it will get me out of the house.
- Alexis had the sage advice to say yes. Accept all invites (even the less than appealing ones), attend the FRG meetings, a la Nike – just do it. So far I have done this (attending a company bbq, hosting Stephen’s friends for dinner), but I could be doing a better job of it. If I want to get to know people, Imma have to spend time with them.
- Janelle mentioned viewing things as different instead of better or worse. What a great way to frame my thinking! It doesn’t have to be Texas vs. Germany, old vs. new. I need to accept that this is where I am now, and some things are different.
- Being homesick is normal. Almost everyone mentioned having trouble adjusting to a move (even ones not so far away). Ruth-Ellen thinks I might be going through culture shock. I did a little Googling on the topic and found that it helped a lot!
- Alison pointed out all the resources I have at my disposal. The Army moves people all the time and we have thinks like ACS and MWR and the FRG to aide in our transition. I have a college friend who moved to Munich a month before I did for her husband’s job (check out her blog here), and they are doing it all on their own. Meanwhile, I live with other families who have been there done that and can clue me in to where to go to get help. (The ACS in particular offers classes on things like getting a job, couponing, parenting, relationships, and more.)
- Bianca’s idea was to take up a new hobby. Yes! Or I could act on some of the hobbies I’ve been sitting on for a while. (You know, things like writing, reading, artistic outlets.) I totally need to give up being a bump on a log.
- Another consensus: give myself time to settle into my routine. I shouldn’t expect to magically feel adjusted. There’s set timeline for how long it takes to adjust. And starting to get into a routine will help this “vacation” feeling fade away and turn into an “every day, permanent” feeling that I’ve been missing.
I’m so excited to head home soon for my big brother’s wedding. (I get to see my family and friends, I get to see extended family coming into town, and I get to support my brother as he marries an incredible woman. Yes, yes, and yes!) But…I think knowing that this trip was only a month-ish out from my move became a bit of an excuse for me. “I don’t want to apply for jobs because I’m going out of town soon anyway. No need to figure out all this volunteering stuff until after my trip. I’ll try to make friends once I’m here for good.” It was almost as if the idea of going home was a buoy that I clung to and used as an excuse to avoid some things that would take work but would help me adjust.
Time for the procrastinating to stop. If I want to change my situation, it won’t happen on its own. I have to start doing some heavy lifting. But I’m ready. I’m ready to jump in with both feet!*